recording of The Marrow of Tradition, by Charles Waddell Chesnutt. Read by James K. White.
In The Marrow of Tradition
, Charles W. Chesnutt--using the 1898 Wilmington, North Carolina massacre as a backdrop--probes and exposes the raw nerves and internal machinery of racism in the post-Reconstruction-era South; explores how miscegenation, caste, gender and the idea of white supremacy informed Jim Crow laws; and unflinchingly revisits the most brutal of terror tactics, mob lynchings. (Introduction by James K. White)
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September 4, 2015
Marrow of Tradition
Chesnutt was an important writer of the post-Civil war era who deserves to be read. His characters of all colours are whole people. Human motivations are complex and he recognized that the amount of melanin in one's skin makes no difference to that.
Many thanks to James White for his excellent reading. It might be hard to read this to oneself -- the dialect would be hard for me to understand -- but fortunately James has done it for us!
September 19, 2012
Great Book for a Long Trip
Books of the 19th and early 20th century were often meant to be read aloud, and sometimes are better heard than read. This one, a black man's fictional take on race riots and an actual coup d'etat in Wilmingotn NC, might be a little repetative when read the traditional way, but comes to life when read aloud. This is an old fashioned book -- with a complicated plot, multiple characters, and interesting reversals of the usual literary stereotypes. Not everything resolves neatly (how could it, when the lead characters are black, and they are living in the South of 1900?) But the way this novel is constructed lends itself to a long car trip, or a couple of weeks of rush hour commutes.